John Luttrell’s reigning champ Geegees Blackflash has drawn near the extreme outside for their title defense in Sunday’s 2013 Hobart Cup which is one of the headline races of the Tasmanian Summer Racing Carnival.
The in-form Clangalang six-year-old has been one of the most consistent and backable stayers in Tassie racing since their breakthrough Group victory in the 2010 Tasmanian Derby as a three-year-old.
Their best season to date was the summer of 2011-12 where they enjoyed five successive turf triumphs including the Listed Kevin Sharkie Stakes (1600m), a six length romp in the Summer Cup (2100m) and last year’s Hobart Cup before they lumped a hefty 60kg to finish second behind Prevailing in the Group 3 Launceston Cup (2400m).
Their form this time in has also been good but not quite as spectacular with efforts such as their second in the Kevin Sharkie Tasmanian Stakes and fourth in the Summer Cup.
Geegees Blackflash got back in the winners’ stall last Sunday however when they beat home Victorian raider Fieldmaster by 1.8 lengths in the Jockey Club Cup (2200m), an excellent lead-up run to the $225,000 Group 3 AAMI Hobart Cup (2400m) this weekend.
The 2013 Hobart Cup field has now been released with 16 horses engaged to face off.
Geegees Blackflash will wear the No. 1 saddlecloth with Peter Mertens to ride them on the 59.5kg topweight, only one kilo more than their winning weight from 12 months ago.
In an early blow for the popular galloper however Geegees Blackflash has barrier 14 of 16 to overcome having jumped from gate six of 10 to win last year.
Luttrell will play a strong hand numbers-wise in this year’s Hobart Cup too having accepted for another trio of horses with Gee Gee’s Boss (barrier five), Testa Jesta (barrier four) and Gee Gee Beauty (barrier 13) who all need to improve on their last start to be competitive.
Along with Geegees Blackflash the other last-start winner in the Hobart Cup mix this year is the Mick Burles-trained The Cleaner who will carry 57.5kg from barrier 11 with Jason Maskiell in the saddle.
Another champion staying type, the Savoire Vivre gelding has won three of their past four starts including a four length effort over Geegees Blackflash first-up in the Tasmanian Stakes and their last start victory over a very similar field of rivals in the Summer Cup on January 20.
The other most heavily weighted hopeful is then Troy Blacker’s veteran West Quest eight-year-old Dream Pedlar with 56.5kg who has come up trumps with barrier three, Craig Newitt booked for the ride.
Dream Pedlar has been thereabouts all campaign and goes into Sunday’s clash on the back of a good third in the Jockey Club Cup when two lengths off Geegees Blackflash.
Also coming off some nice recent form are genuine challengers include dual Summer Cup runner-up Norsqui, the Patrick Payne-trained Devonport Cup winner Fieldmaster who ran third in the Summer Cup and then second in the Jockey Club Cup, and Darren Weir’s Ballarat galloper Hurdy Gurdy Man last seen running third in the Terang Cup last Sunday.
In the Terang Cup the Street Cry stallion carried 59kg and will relish the drop back to just 54kg on Sunday, ace hoop Glen Boss to ride them from the inside alley.
Other interstate raiders looking to steal the show from the locals then include the Gai Waterhouse-trained Zabeel four-year-old Power Broker in gate two looking to improve on their disappointing 10th to Shadows In The Sun in the Australia Day Cup in Sydney, Robert Smerdon’s Darci Brahma four-year-old Westsouthwest and the flying Tony Vasil-trained Redoute’s Choice mare Lucky Angel.
See below for the complete 2013 AAMI Hobart Cup field, barriers, jockeys and weights.
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2013 Hobart Cup Final Field & Barrier Draw
Hobart Race 8 – 10/02/2013
|#||Form (Last 10)||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Br.||Wgt.||Hcp. Rating|
|1||112×012241||GEEGEES BLACKFLASH||John Luttrell||Peter Mertens||14||59.5kg||103|
|2||11215×1101||THE CLEANER||Mick Burles||Jason Maskiell||11||57.5kg||99|
|3||03077×3353||DREAM PEDLAR||Troy Blacker||Craig Newitt||3||56.5kg||97|
|4||30x5007x72||NORSQUI||Walter McShane||Chris Symons||8||56kg||96|
|5||537x00x132||FIELDMASTER (NZ)||Patrick Payne||Ms Michelle Payne||16||55kg||94|
|6||111x5x8747||PREVAILING||David & Scott Brunton||–||7||55kg||94|
|7||1323×51233||HURDY GURDY MAN||Darren Weir||Glen Boss||1||54kg||91|
|8||313×095945||WESTSOUTHWEST (NZ)||Robert Smerdon||Dwayne Dunn||15||54kg||87|
|9||2433221412||LUCKY ANGEL||Tony Vasil||–||10||54kg||84|
|10||7235×41614||SUCCESS DOSTTA||David & Scott Brunton||–||6||54kg||84|
|12||155×416610||POWER BROKER (NZ)||Gai Waterhouse||Stephen Baster||2||54kg||75|
|14||7663565127||GEE GEE’S BOSS||John Luttrell||–||5||54kg||70|
|15||7×56327337||TESTA JESTA||John Luttrell||–||4||54kg||70|
|16||0765902618||GEE GEES BEAUTY||John Luttrell||–||13||54kg||61|